Place & Purpose


Fogo Island is an outport community: a small, remote coastal settlement unique to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Fogo Islanders are people of the sea who have made their living by fishing the unforgiving waters of the North Atlantic. A non-capital-accumulating society until the latter decades of the 20th century, Fogo Islanders sustained themselves for generations by fishing as families and relying on an unrelenting sense of resourcefulness fed by a profound love of place. This history of relative isolation and self-sufficiency has shaped the Fogo Islanders of today and continues to inform the Island’s economy and culture.

Though Fogo Island is a settler community, it’s important to know that its territory is part of the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk and the island of Newfoundland is the ancestral homeland of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk. We also take this opportunity to recognize the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original people of Labrador.


A shorefast is the line and mooring used to attach a traditional cod trap to the shore. It is a strong symbol of Fogo Island’s cod fishing heritage, and we chose this name for the charity that owns Fogo Island Workshops, because it symbolizes a belief in the importance of holding on to community and culture and in the power of authentic connections between individuals, their communities, culture, and place.

Fogo Island Workshops is a for-profit social enterprise. This unique model is circular, using the gains from it and other social enterprises, including Fogo Island Inn and Fogo Island Fish, as economic engines for the community: they create meaningful employment, and generate income to be reinvested through Shorefast’s charitable programs including environmental stewardship; preservation of culture and knowledge; restoration of historical buildings; business incubation and the internationally-recognized Fogo Island Arts, a residency program which has hosted international artists and leading thinkers since 2008.


Our work is regenerative in helping to reinforce immediate opportunties and the long-term strength of the whole community.

There is no private gain from our work with 100% of operating surpluses returned to Shorefast for community development. So where does your money go?

We tell you with our Economic Nutrition Label; a pioneering concept of Shorefast's a transparency tool that lets you understand how your purchases sustain the economic health of Fogo Island.

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